Photo Credit: Thought Catalog
6 Tips To Help A Solo Traveler Successfully Navigate A Group Trip
One of the benefits of traveling solo is that you can do what you want, when you want, or you can do absolutely nothing. Either way, nobody will penalize you. But what happens when, due to circumstance, you end up on a group trip?
Is there a way to bridge the gap as it relates to difference in personality, interests, and generation? The answer is yes, provided you keep the following six points in mind.
The importance of communication can’t be emphasized enough, and it’s a life skill adults and children should learn.
If you aren’t happy with plans, or feel disrespected by one of your travel companions, don’t expect them to read your mind. Speak up. But diplomacy is best. Being confrontational is a foolproof way to make the situation worse.
When dealing with young children traveling with you, remember that they have no inhibitions and don’t understand how to circumvent danger. When they are in a new environment, everything fascinates them, and their excitement clouds what little judgement they have.
Instead of losing your temper, take a deep breath and calmly, but firmly, explain that they must listen to you for their own safety. It’s possible to establish yourself as the authority figure, while still respecting that children are people with feelings, too.
2. Don't Perceive Everything As A Slight
Even when travel is intended as leisure, the logistics can be stressful.
In this era of pandemics and terrorism, travel is forever changed. Couple that with getting up early, driving to the airport, and sitting in a flying capsule for X amount of hours.
These are bound to make somebody anxious or aggravated, and they might lash out. Be patient and remember it won’t last.
3. Early Bird? Night Owl? Others Might Not Be.....
Be you an early bird or night owl, everyone has a different body clock, and reasonable accomodations should be made.
If you’re coming in from a wild night at the club, and the others are asleep, be mindful of noise like the click-clack of your high- heels.
If you rise in the morning before everyone else, and going back to sleep isn’t an option, move to another room, if your accommodations allow that.
If your travel companion is a young child, you wouldn’t leave them alone in the hotel, villa, or apartment, of course, But if they’re an adult, step outside and drop them a text to let them know where you are.
4. Check in Now and Again
There’s no excuse to not stay in touch with your travel partners when on the go in this digital age.
If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you have an arrangement with your phone carrier so that you don’t return home to a sky-high bill. Make use of Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, which don’t cost a dime. Come up with a plan of what to do in the event of an emergency.
It’s not about cramping anybody’s style, but having enough respect for others, so they don’t worry unnecessarily.
5. Lonely and Alone Aren't The Same....
Just because you’re traveling in a group, doesn’t mean you always have to be together.
Of course, there are exceptions. You wouldn’t let a dependent child wander off by themselves, or leave somebody who requires around the clock care unattended.
Give other adults space to do things alone, and ask that the same grace be extended to you. Even teenagers, depending on where you are, might appreciate if you loosen the reins a bit. If there’s a local bar across the street from your hotel in Paris or Lisbon, for example, there probably isn’t any harm in letting them have a drink or two alone, provided they are of age.
6. Meet In The Middle
You might want to experience five star dining, and have saved accordingly. But some of the others might not have that luxury. So unless you’re willing to foot the bill, you might have to look for a more affordable restaurant.
Try to settle on a place that offers choices for everybody. If there’s a vegan or vegetarian in your group, they’ll appreciate you joining them at a restaurant that caters to their dietary preferences. Surely, you can have one meal without animal products.
If you like to go clubbing, but your travel partner isn’t one for the ear-blasting music, maybe there is a lounge you can go to that plays softer music, allowing for conversation.